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Royals Vs. Cardinals: Previewing The I-70 Series

The I-70 series should be an interesting match-up of the defending World Series champs and a Royals team on the rise.

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 17: Tyler Greene #27 of the St. Louis Cardinals turns a double play against Jeff Francoeur #21 of the Kansas City Royals at Busch Stadium on June 17, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 17: Tyler Greene #27 of the St. Louis Cardinals turns a double play against Jeff Francoeur #21 of the Kansas City Royals at Busch Stadium on June 17, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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The St. Louis Cardinals play host to the start of the I-70 series rivalry this season, and the Kansas City Royals hope to continue the momentum they gained against Milwaukee against their in-state competition. We're all itching for the first pitch, which is at 7:15 CT.

Kansas City (27-34) is fresh off two miraculous walk off wins, and a sweep of Brewers, but that came on the heels of a lackluster series against the Pirates. The Cardinals (33-31) helped the Royals this week by taking two out of three games against the division rival White Sox.

Projected Starting Pitchers: (Expected Fielding Independent Pitching or xFIP is a more accurate statistic in determining how a pitcher is actually performing.)

Friday - Vin Mazzaro (2-1 3.60 ERA, xFIP 4.72) vs Kyle Lohse (6-1 2.90 ERA, xFIP 4.09 )

Saturday - Bruce Chen (5-6 4.44 ERA, 4.34 xFIP) vs Joe Kelly (0-0 1.80 ERA, 2-5 2.86 ERA in AAA)

Sunday - Luis Mendoza (2-3 4.89 ERA, 5.11 xFIP) vs Adam Wainwright (5-7 4.75 ERA, 3.20 xFIP)

The matchup also features Carlos Beltran squaring off against his former team now that he's with the Cardinals. Beltran has an incredible league-leading 19 home runs in 2012 and has been one of the surprise free agent performers in all of baseball.